Imagine a classroom where lessons come to life, leaping off the page into 3D reality.

Take natural history, for instance. Kids have always loved learning about dinosaurs. But imagine how much more excited they’d get if they were able to stand up from their desks and walk among them.

It could be possible in the near future.

Meta recently announced it will launch a new education product for its virtual reality (VR) devices that will enable educators to access various educational applications and features. Many schools, school districts, and universities have already started to implement VR into their curriculum.

It’s a huge step forward that could transform student learning in the U.S.

Seneca Valley School District in Pennsylvania recently announced its plans to add virtual and augmented reality programs to learn about VR. Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education Sean McCarty even argued it could help students prepare for jobs that don’t exist yet.

What’s certain is that VR can help prepare students for jobs that do exist. Earlier this year, business students at West Virginia University used VR to start a virtual ice cream shop, where they lost millions of dollars a day. Then, they turned around their practices to see how quickly they could turn their loss into a profit.

WVU’s counseling school has also been using VR to train clinical rehabilitation and mental health counselors in an immersive training environment with human-powered avatars.

While those education environments have been working to transform learning for their students, one school has completely redefined education with VR. Optima Academy Online was first pioneered during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic when many schools shut down and went to “virtual school.” With Optima Academy Online, students receive a classical education with innovative technology to engage with each other in a VR environment.

As with all new technology in schools, people often express concern over whether a learning tool actually improves student performance. But time and time again, it has been shown that technology — like calculators, iPads, artificial intelligence, and VR — does have a positive impact on learning.

A 2022 report by Morehouse College found students who learned with VR had an average final test score of 85 compared to 78 in person. A survey by the XR Association also found that 77 percent of educators believe these technologies ignite curiosity and improve engagement in class.

Education needs to be reimagined and transformed, right? That may require a shift away from traditional learning tools such as pencils, paper, and textbooks. It is time to adopt a fresh perspective on education and embrace innovative approaches that cater to students’ needs. Technology is everywhere: in our homes, at work, and even in our schools. Students need to be prepared for a future with more technology.

The value of VR’s capacity to immerse people in a simulation of a real environment can not be overstated. VR has the potential to revolutionize education, making learning more enjoyable, more effective, and more accessible for all. We should be using this to our advantage to educate students wherever we can.